For further information, contact:

Kirsten Helgeson
1-800-323-7033
mediarelations@northwesternmutual.com

"Loading the player…"
The happy couple: Russell and JennaBeth Fitch, on their wedding day. Russell knew after just three weeks of dating, that he would marry JennaBeth one day.  Credit: Northwestern Mutual
The happy couple: Russell and JennaBeth Fitch, on their wedding day. Russell knew after just three weeks of dating, that he would marry JennaBeth one day. Credit: Northwestern Mutual
JennaBeth Fitch, having fully recovered after suffering from cardiac arrest, is grateful to spend time with her sons. Credit: Northwestern Mutual
JennaBeth Fitch, having fully recovered after suffering from cardiac arrest, is grateful to spend time with her sons. Credit: Northwestern Mutual
The Fitch family at home in Tennessee. Credit: Northwestern Mutual
The Fitch family at home in Tennessee. Credit: Northwestern Mutual

Planning Your Forever, a Northwestern Mutual Client Story

MILWAUKEE, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Struck by their deep connection, after three weeks of dating, Russell knew he and JennaBeth would be together forever. They married and children followed. Shortly after the birth of their third child, JennaBeth suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Numb with shock, Russell feared their forever wouldn’t be as long as he had anticipated.

This is their story.

For the most part, JennaBeth Fitch’s pregnancy was normal. She and her husband, Russell, were thrilled when they welcomed their third son into the Fitch family.

“I’ve known Russell and JennaBeth since they first married,” said Brandon Lunke, the Fitch’s financial representative. “It’s been amazing to help them plan for their future as their lives evolved from a young couple to a family of five. As a rep with Northwestern Mutual, I haven’t been faced with losing a client, but the reality is that we prepare people for the unexpected so during a time of unpredictability, finances are the least of their concerns.”

On her third day home after giving birth, JennaBeth experienced an alarming dizzy spell that prompted a call to her doctor and an immediate trip to the emergency room.

Russell stayed by her side in her hospital room along with their newborn son. During the first night, he awoke suddenly to the sound of JennaBeth gasping for air. In the next moment, she stopped breathing.

For 12 minutes, JennaBeth’s brain was deprived of oxygen as doctors struggled to revive her. A healthy, active 35-year-old woman had experienced cardiac arrest. She fought her way back and survived, which was nothing short of a miracle.

“We had planned for the possibility that one of us might not be around,” said JennaBeth. “It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but as a parent with responsibilities, it’s necessary.”

“You hope you won’t ever need to use things like your car or home insurance, but you really hope you’ll never be in a position to need your life insurance,” said Russell. “When JennaBeth got sick, it was a relief to be able to focus on her and not have to worry about our financial well-being if the unthinkable happened.”

Today, JennaBeth is a happy wife and mother, who advocates heart health for women. While she and Russell have been sobered by this experience, they are comforted by the knowledge that, with Brandon and Northwestern Mutual looking out for their future, they can focus on their forever – together.

Russell and JennaBeth’s story is part of Northwestern Mutual’s ongoing Client Stories series, which aims to share the inspiring, first-hand accounts of clients that have faced seemingly overwhelming obstacles.

To learn more about how Russell and JennaBeth protected the financial security of their family, watch the extended video at Northwestern Mutual’s Facebook page.

About Northwestern Mutual
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World’s Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.